CLA Wales calls for VAT cut for tourism operators

10 November 2013

Tourism is a vital source of income for many Welsh farmers and landowners and cutting VAT has huge benefits for the overall economy.

The launch of the Association's tourism report today titled Wish You Were Here? recommends a dramatic cut in VAT on tourism services from 20 percent to seven percent which will bring the UK into line with the rest of Europe.

The report accuses the Government of allowing investment in the UK's sixth largest industry to slide – and driving it almost to the bottom of the world league on tourism taxes.

"Tourism in Wales is one of the largest industries and contributes £2 billion in spending from overnight and day visitors," says CLA Wales Director Ben Underwood, who points out that it is reported that the walking and mountaineering industry alone is worth £77 million a year providing 4,250 jobs in Wales. 

 

"If we are to compete with overseas destinations for holidays we have to make ourselves as attractive as possible to prospective visitors instead of placing heavy taxes on them, 

"The current rate of VAT makes holidaying in Wales overly expensive for visitors from both home and abroad which means we lose all the associated benefits of tourism, far beyond the countryside, forming a complex web of economic relationships between cities, suburbs, surrounding countryside, small towns and villages.

 

"Wales is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the UK, particularly with the recent opening of the All Wales Coastal Path last May which links all three of the spectacular national parks, making Wales the first country in the world to provide a dedicated footpath along its entire coastline. Furthermore, Lonely Planet rated the coast of Wales first in its Best in Travel top 10 regions for 2012.